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Ep. #125: John Reis of Drive Like Jehu

John Reis is a fantastic guitarist and songwriter based in San Diego California. Over the past 25 years he has played in remarkable and influential bands like Pitchfork, Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes, Sultans, and the Night Marchers among others, and he also started a cool label called Swami Records. One of his most significant bands was Drive Like Jehu who stopped playing together shortly after releasing their second album, Yank Crime, in 1994. Earlier this week the band, including singer/guitarist Rick Froberg, bassist Mike Kennedy, and drummer Mark Trombino, announced they would be playing a single, free show at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego’s Balboa Park on August 31, accompanied by civic organist Dr. Carol Williams. Here, John and I talk about making pancakes, the comings and goings of the sun, why Drive Like Jehu is getting back together to play a single show, collaborating with the Spreckels Pipe Organ, how his friend Dang is on the board of directors for the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, sonic energy and jamming with Godzilla, how organs fit into the music of Drive Like Jehu, trash cans, how this reunion show has nothing to do with any historical landmarks beyond this organ, how Drive Like Jehu never ever broke up, the circumstantial reasons why Drive Like Jehu stopped playing together, why John thinks of himself mostly as a guitar player, how people seemed more stoked about the band after they went away, how Drive Like Jehu started after Pitchfork stopped playing together, Mike Kennedy and Mark Trombino’s band Night Soil Man, getting Rick to play with John, Mike, and Mark, having a small fanbase, the forthcoming Drive Like Jehu/Megadeth Megatour, playing with the organ, when Drive Like Jehu will actually practice together for the first time in 20 years, five songs in 30 minutes, no one knows what’s going to happen at this show, “Louie Louie,” never say never, turning people on with an organ, documenting this one Drive Like Jehu show, what’s up with new Hot Snakes songs and shows, when Rocket From the Crypt played Riot Fest in Toronto, the Rick Froberg Hot Snakes challenge, the John Reis Hot Snakes challenge, a Drive Like Jehu medley, the songs “Bullet Train to Vegas,” “Luau,” “Do You Compute,” and “Caress,” and then it was time to turn it off.

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